This recipe is within the Spiced Cake section of the Baking Bible. My first thought was that it must be some sort of Swiss roll or roulade. I was surprised to discover that it is in fact a no cook pudding. The recipe didn't sound very exciting as only three ingredients are needed; simply ginger biscuits, cream and brandy. However, Mary promises that it is an easy but impressive dessert. This of course sparked my interest, and I was keen to put her promise to the test – I couldn't wait to see how it would turn out!
We were blessed with another gloriously sunny day. I'm not sure how much longer this unseasonably warm weather will last but I'm certainly enjoying it whilst it's here! As usual, in the morning, I took my little boy to the park. We really are creatures of habit! We had a great time; the only thing missing was an ice cream van. It was so hot that I could have done with an ice lolly! On our way home we stopped off at the shop. As we entered, Isaac decided to belt out Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star at the top of his voice. The shop assistant told him what a lovely voice he had. This set him off on another chorus – he certainly isn't a shy child!
I wasn't surprised to find that the shop does not sell whipping cream. I quickly grabbed the last tub of double cream and hoped it would do. Up the next aisle I quickly located the ginger biscuits. Luckily I didn't need to buy any brandy as I still had half a bottle left over from Christmas. This was proving to be a pretty cheap recipe! What a shame I couldn't resist adding a lot of unnecessary extras to my basket! Finally we paid for the shopping. Isaac said his usual cheery goodbyes and we headed for home.
There was little point in making the ginger cream roll in the afternoon as Mary says it should be assembled the night before. I waited until we had wolfed down our evening meal and then I made a start. First of all I measured out half of the total amount of cream. This recipe isn't for those of us watching our weight! So as not to wake Isaac, I decided to whisk the cream with a balloon whisk. Within about thirty seconds my poor weak arm was burning in agony. Neil took pity on me and took over. He lasted longer than I did, but his face turned a dangerous shade of red! Eventually, between us, we had whipped the double cream into stiff peaks. Next it was time to measure four tablespoons of brandy into a bowl. Wow! The fumes were so strong that they made my eyes sting!
I retrieved a large plate from the cupboard to assemble my ginger roll. I dipped one side of the ginger biscuits into the brandy, spread on a generous helping of double cream and sandwiched with another dipped biscuit. I mistakenly built up the roll as a tower, rather than assembling it 'lying down'. Soon I had a leaning tower of biscuits, so I had to change tactics. The next move was to transfer to a serving plate. I think it might have perhaps been a wiser choice to assemble directly on the serving plate. I had a panic as I couldn't see how I could move the long log of cream and biscuits over to the serving plate. Neil came to my rescue again. Anything to keep me quiet!! Between us we successfully managed to make the transfer, but we both ended up smothered. This turned out to be a happy occurrence as we discovered that brandy and cream combined is seriously delicious!
I would have to wait till morning to finish off my ginger cream roll. I covered the biscuity roll and placed it in the fridge overnight. Apparently the next day all the brandy would have been absorbed into the ginger biscuits.
The following morning I opened the fridge door to collect my biscuity roll. I was immediately hit by a strong waft of brandy. Once I had released the potent odour our kitchen smelled like a distillery! I was feeling light headed before I had even had my breakfast! After taking my alcoholic treat from the fridge I went back to collect the remainder of the double cream. This time I used the electric whisk. It took ages to thicken, almost as long as doing it by hand. Maybe the hot weather didn't help. It wasn't easy to spread the cream neatly all over the top, sides and ends of the roll. Inevitably a lot ended up smeared across the serving plate and also on my hands. I kept back enough of the cream to pipe rosettes along the length of the roll. I felt a little peeved at having to faff about with a piping bag for such a small amount, but I had to admit that it made all the difference. It made the roll look much tidier and gave it a professional finish. The last touch was to sprinkle some finely chopped stem ginger over the top of piped cream.
Neil commented that it looked and sounded like a 1970's dessert. I have to agree that it did seem perhaps a little dated! Mary tells us to slice the coffee roll at a diagonal. I wondered why at first but it shows off the layers of biscuits beautifully, it looked great! Once the all important photo was taken I grabbed a fork and dug in. The first thing I thought was BRANDY!! My goodness it was strong! Brandy and ginger together make a powerful combination; it 'stung' my mouth!!! Thank goodness for the cream as it really helped put out the flames. I am not keen on liqueur chocolates so I wonder if it is just my personal taste that I found it so strong. Neil didn't think the taste of brandy was overwhelming. He really enjoyed it. However, I don't think I'll be giving any to Isaac!
|Such an easy dessert|